The future of Brechin’s paddling pool is looking increasingly uncertain following a meeting between save the pool campaigners, councillors and council officials.
Speaking after the discussions with the local authority’s chief executive, Richard Stiff, and leader of the council, Councillor Ian Gaul, campaigner Mark Arbuthnott and community council chairman Derek Harper have both said it is not looking likely that the paddling pool will open this summer and possibly not for several summers to come, if at all.
However, Mr Harper said that they came away from the meeting with an undertaking from the council that there are plans for providing play facilities in Brechin and that this would be done with community involvement.
“They cannot detail what these plans are yet as they are tied up with the flood prevention scheme but they have said they will give us a time line and assured us that, as a result of the paddling pool situation, they are keen to be more transparent and to get the local community more involved,” he added.
“One thing is certain, the pool will not be open this summer. They told us the only way it could be opened was if it was run as a community project,”
Mark Arbuthnott said they had given the council a good alternative to closing the pool but were told by the council representatives at the meeting that it wouldn’t work.
“Going forward we will be looking into the feasibility of running the pool as a community project but it will be expensive. The running costs will be around £5,000 or £6,000 a year. It’s a difficult proposition but we will look to see if there are grants available,” he said.
Mr Harper said the situation was disappointing but the council had made their position clear and the bottom line was they did not have the money to keep the pool open.
Mr Arbuthnott added that all the council representatives were happy to accept that play facilities were underfunded in Brechin and that inward investment was needed and the council would be happy to do it following the flood prevention scheme.
A public meeting to discuss the paddling pool is scheduled to take place at the Bridgend Bar in Brechin on Friday .